Running Backs Increasing their Role

When Emmanuel Moody decided to become a Florida Gator, I think most Gator fans thought they just found their running back of the future. Three games into the 2008 college football season, Florida fans have seen the Gator running backs display power, speed, vision, cutting ability and a will to want to run the ball.

In the home opener speed, vision and cutting ability was on display with Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey. A week later against the Hurricanes it was a little slow going for Kestahn Moore and Demps, but Tebow, Harvin and Rainey combined for 21 carries for 95 yards or better than 4.5 yards per carry.

On Saturday the stat sheet looked like this, Eammanuel Moody nine carries for 55 yards or 6.1 yards per carry. Chris Rainey ended his night with nine carries for 37 yards or 4.1 yards per carry. Percy Harvin had six rushes for 31 yards or 5.2 per carry. Sure, Tim Tebow had 12 carries for only 26 yards, but they were tough yards when the team needed to punch it out near Florida's own end zone.

Saturday against the Tennessee Volunteers, Moody saw his most extensive action of the season and did not disappoint. Moody displayed great power and quickness getting through the offensive line. I was very impressed with how quick his feet were, no dancing no hesitation just get the ball and hit the gas. If Moody continues to work hard in practice and do the little things that the backs are asked to do then his time will only increase. Once the offense can establish that inside rushing attack, it will open up the option and jet sweeps and give the offense one more element that defenses must account for.

Through three games this season Tebow has thrown the ball 64 times hitting on 38 of those or just more than 59 percent. Last season through three games Tebow attempted 61 passes, completing 45 passes or 73 percent. Until I looked this up, I thought the amount of pass attempts from last year to this wouldn't even be close. I think the biggest reason that it seems that way is the amount of times Tebow has thrown the ball down field. I love the fact that Urban Meyer is perfectly happy to play field position and lean on the Gator special teams to turn the game around.

The defense held up nicely against the run and the next test will be Charles Scott from LSU. With the total amount of plays being down from last year's numbers, it puts more of an emphasis on special teams and Florida's will impact every game they play.

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